North Carolina Appellate Court Issues Ruling in Case Involving Mold Exposure in Rental Residence

If you rent an apartment or house, you place your trust in the property owner that he or she has conducted proper inspections and ensured that the premises is free from dangerous conditions like mold. Certain types of mold can pose a serious threat to you and your family’s health and unfortunately, mold can grow in the walls or under floorboards where it is impossible to detect without high tech equipment. If you were exposed to mold or another dangerous condition as the result of a landowner’s neglect you may be entitled to compensation. Call our Charlotte premises liability lawyers today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeal reviewed a case in which the plaintiff alleged that the owners of a property that he rented failed to keep it suitable for habitation according to N.C. Gen. Stat Section 42-42. According to this provision, landlords must comply with several requirements regarding the maintenance and habitability of rental properties, including keeping common areas in a safe condition, ensuring that electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and other facilities are in good working order, and providing smoke alarms.

He also alleged that the defendant’s failure to inspect or maintain the premises was negligent and reckless conduct and that the owner made negligent misrepresentations about the property’s condition.

The defendant filed an answer, cross-claims, and a motion to dismiss on the basis that the plaintiff had failed to plead facts that supported his claims. Some of the affirmative defenses included failure to notify, unclean hands, waiver, and estoppel. The trial court ultimately dismissed the complaint on the basis that the plaintiff did not have standing to bring the claims because he was not technically a tenant of record at the property in question. The plaintiff also filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice the day after the court issued its dismissal, but then appealed the court’s dismissal. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the basis that the plaintiff did not file it within the required timeframe.

The appellate court ultimately affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the case on the basis that the lower court did not make an error. The court stated that the plaintiff did not provide enough evidence to show that the lower court’s decision was “manifestly unsupported by reason.” Reviewing the procedural record of the case, the appellate court determined that the lower court properly dismissed the plaintiff’s Rule 60 motion, which allows a party to seek relief from a judgment when the judgment is void. A judgment is void where the court that issued the judgment does not have jurisdiction over the parties or the case. The plaintiff argued that since he did not have standing, the judgment should be voided but the appellate court disagreed.

If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue that involves uninhabitable housing or conditions that don’t meet North Carolina’s statutes, then you may be entitled to compensation. North Carolina law also provides compensation through personal injury lawsuits to persons who were injured on another person’s property as the result of careless and neglectful maintenance. At Maurer Law, our diligent team of civil law attorneys handles a variety of personal injury cases including premises liability actions. To schedule your free consultation call us as soon as possible at 1-844-817-8058 or contact us online to get started.